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Reggae North

Canadian News

Iley Dread at the Control

Off the music scene for five years, artist/producer and show promoter Colin “Iley Dread” Levy plans to return with a bang in 2024 with a series of shows.

The events are scheduled to start with the May 10-12 Wonderful Vibrations shows in Toronto, Pickering and North York in Ontario. Those events take place on the Mother’s Day weekend; they feature several artists who worked for his Kings of Kings organization during its heyday of the 1990s.

Iley Dread says Luciano, Turbulence, Lieutenant Stitchie, Singing Melody, Thriller U, Richie Stephens, Norris Man, Glen Washington, Natty King and Professor Nuts are confirmed for the shows.

They will be followed by the Curry Festival in June, Unite the People Extravaganza and Reggae 55th Award Celebration in August, Thanksgiving 2024 Celebration in October, culminating with Dancehall Nice Again and Phenomenal Vibes in November.

The Reggae 55th Award Celebration, Levy noted, is a tribute event that will acknowledge the contributions of Jamaican music stalwarts. He and his team are currently selecting the honorees.

“Now that I’m back in Canada, I’ve decided that I’m gonna start back the awards show, but not the way it used to be done. Now that I’ve decided to rekindle that fire, my desire is to make it the way I dream it to be, like the Grammy Awards or the BET Awards to give it international exposure, not just national exposure,” he said.

From St. James parish in western Jamaica, Iley Dread migrated to Canada in 1990, initially settling in Montreal. He launched his recording career in that city, before branching out as a producer with the Kings of Kings label during the 1990s.

Through that company, he also promoted a number of shows featuring top acts such as Dennis Brown, John Holt, Gregory Isaacs and Beres Hammond. According to Iley Dread, Canadian reggae fans are hungry for live shows after the Covid-19 chaos.

“Quite a few promoters are starting to do back things. I’ve been out of the country for five years, but I hear live shows are not as regular as one time,” he said.

Iley Dread, who was released from prison in the United States last summer, plans to release a gospel album this year. His previous albums are ‘A Friend for Life’, ‘Unite The People’ and ‘Unleashed’.

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